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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, June 24, 2024

Women's sports sidelined by scheduling

Though women's teams traditionally compete at home on Homecoming day against a Tufts rival (typically Amherst or Williams), tradition will not be a part of homecoming for the women this year. Due to scheduling and playoff conflicts, the squads have already finished their seasons - a possibility that the players feel should have been considered when Tufts' 2001 Homecoming was scheduled.

Players and alumni are disappointed in being excluded from what has historically been the biggest day for Tufts sports.

"I was really disappointed when I heard there would be no field hockey game - especially since I didn't get a chance to see them play last year either," former field hockey player Rebecca Litt (LA '00) said. "As a player, I always loved having lots of fans turn out for the homecoming game; including lots of former teammates. Other than postseason games, homecoming was the most exciting. It's too bad that they don't have one this year."

Former teammate Meredith LeRoux (LA '00) echoed her sentiments. "It is very disappointing to know that there won't be a field hockey game to watch," she said. "I'm disappointed because I like to be part of the whole homecoming atmosphere."

The field hockey team foresaw the disappointment and exclusion that would be felt on homecoming day, and organized an alumni match that will take place Saturday afternoon instead of a game against Amherst.

"It's good because we are going to have a really relaxed atmosphere and enjoy the other games," LeRoux said.

Litt is also excited for the match, despite her disappointment over the fact that she can't watch her alma mater compete in seasonal play. "I haven't played in two years, so it should be interesting," she said.

The women's soccer team might make an appearance at Kraft Field on Saturday afternoon - however, it too will be on the sidelines. The women's NCAA tournament got pushed up a week, which forced the NESCAC tournament up a week and resulted in a curtailed season.

"It's really tough, because you train so hard all year, all of a sudden it ends and you're not expecting it, and your season ends," coach Martha Whiting said. "We really expected to be playing this weekend, one way or another."

The women's soccer team did not plan an alumni game because it anticipated competing on Saturday. Following a stellar 2000 season, where the squad reached the final round of the Division III NCAA tournament, the Jumbos expected to play in the playoffs. But the team lost to Amherst in the first round of the NESCAC playoff tournament last weekend, and hopes of a repeat season were silenced.

"The fact that we're not playing at home and not playing at all this weekend is very disappointing," Whiting said. "Our team has certain traditions surrounding homecoming. That we aren't able to do that is kind of sad."

For Whiting, this weekend marks the first time in her 13 years at Tufts that the Jumbos have not had game on homecoming - an aspect of the season that she considers to be the most enjoyable.

"We've been fortunate to always have a game. It provides an opportunity for a number of our alumni to come back and see what we've been doing," Whiting said. "I'm sure that some will come back and be disappointed to not see our team play."

Fortunately next year, the NCAA tournament will observe the usual calendar and the regular season will also resume its normal schedule.

"I remember in the past that there were teams that had games on homecoming but they were away games. That was something I never understood," LeRoux said. "What is the point of having homecoming if not all of the teams are competing at home? Homecoming not only brings alumni back to watch the games but it brings the whole University together along with the players' parents and relatives to watch and cheer on their fellow Jumbos."

@s:Women athletes will be on the sidelines

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